Tuesday, June 7, 2011

About those clothespins

About those clothespins:

According to the Bangor Industrial Journal, one of the most complete and extensive clothes pin factories is located at Vanceboro, Me. From the same source the process of manufacturing the pins, as carried on at the Vanceboro Wooden Ware Company’s factory, is given.

The wood used is mainly white birch and beech. . . . [Blocks of wood] are fed to the turning lathes, of which there are several — each being capable of of turning 80 pins per minute. . . .

The market for clothes pins is not confined to any special locality, but is found nearly all over the world. Ten thousand boxes have been shipped to Melbourne, Australia, within the past four months. Two firms in London carry a stock of ten thousand boxes each, and two firms in Boston carry a like amount. One thousand boxes constitute a load.

“Clothes Pins,” Scientific American, February 3, 1883.
So that’s why the history of poetry began, “quite possibly,” in 1883.

Did Nicholson Baker read this Scientific American article? I wonder. Is Vanceborough his mistake, or Paul Chowder’s? I wonder.

The related post, without which this one makes little sense
Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist

comments: 1

Elaine said...

I am a clothes-pin user. Though I no longer dry anything on a line (although I miss it,) I close plastic storage bags; exclude air from chip bags (should I ever again have any chips); attach notes as needed; and (mischief is my hobby) add random pins to my husband's shirt-tails. When someone in Kentucky (at a gas station) asked if he knew how a clothes-pin got stuck on his shirt-tail, my husband was (alas) able to reply, "Why, yes; in fact, I do." So I made a solemn promise not to do that again. I am, to this day, pained by that vow.

I regard the lowly clothes-pin as a daily necessity, and I regularly shop for pins with real strength in their grip. (Beware! There are impostors abroad!)